Sept. 24, 2003 The first tangible step of a long-awaited dream will be celebrated Tuesday as ground will be broken for the Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute on the grounds of the Roy L. Schneider hospital.
The project has been under discussion and intense pre-planning for four years, and a dream in some V.I. hearts for many years before that. (See "Cancer care facility expected to open in 2004" on the St. Thomas Source.)
With $5.8 million from the territory's tobacco settlement proceeds, $2 million from Partners for Health fund raising and $1.7 appropriated by the V.I. Legislature to assist with personnel recruitment, the project is finally in the first stages of becoming a reality. Virgin Islanders and patients from other islands can now be treated, with their families around them and without expensive trips to the mainland.
Gov. Charles Turnbull signed legislation naming the center in honor of Kimelman Tuesday.
"The Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute represents the future of quality healthcare delivery in the territory," Rodney Miller, Schneider chief executive officer said Tuesday. Once completed, this center of excellence will be poised to treat cancer patients not only from the Virgin Islands, but from other Caribbean islands as well."
Ambassador Henry and Charlotte Kimelman have donated approximately $850,000 to the institute, said Miller. "They have pledged to donate an additional $150,000, bringing their total contribution to $1 million. We simply could not have done it without them."
The Kimelmans, V.I. residents since 1950, both have long records of participating in community service, Mrs. Kimelman especially with the formative years of Partners for Health.
The ceremony is at 10 a.m. Tuesday. It will be carried live on WTJX-Channel 12, WVWI radio, and WSTA radio. The public is invited to attend.
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